EDS in Transition | August 2023 Update

August 31, 2023
EDS in Transition | August 2023 Update

Dear Friends,

The end of summer and approaching academic year invites us to anticipate new beginnings and fresh possibilities.

I'm happy to share with you the second issue of our e-newsletter, a vital link to Episcopal Divinity School’s journey of transition and strategic planning process. If you missed the previous issue, catch up here. Below you will find information about our ongoing listening sessions, the upcoming Kellogg Lecture, an update about the strategic planning process, and information about the launch of EDS’ new website.

I remain excited to be on this journey with you as we carry forward the legacy of EDS with its commitment to fostering a more just future.


The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas

Program Updates

Save the Date for Rescheduled Kellogg Lecture: December 9, 2023

Mark your calendars for December 9th for the rescheduled Kellogg Lecture. This year's distinguished speaker, the Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward, will speak on the Close at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This lecture, dedicated to the memory of the esteemed Rev. Frederic Brainerd Kellogg and his father, Frederic Rogers Kellogg, is titled "The Master's House and the Nagging Widow: A Stubborn Call to Dismantle."

In this lecture, Dr. Heyward will revisit Audre Lorde’s well-known warning, "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house," and examine the tools necessary for dismantling the deadly sins of white Christian nationalism that continue to batter the Spirit of Justice-Love in the church. Stay tuned for upcoming registration details.

"Ordain us today, along with our brothers”: The Journey to Women's Ordination

On December 9 at 10am, join the Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward, the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool, and the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas at St. John the Divine as they mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Heyward and four other women deacons presenting themselves for ordination to the priesthood. This event is hosted in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of New York's Taskforce for Commemorating the Ordination of Women. Stay tuned for more information.

Register: James Cone in a Global Context

On October 7, 2023, join EDS for James Cone in a Global Context, a day-long online seminar exploring the impact and implications of the Rev. Dr. James Cone’s theology in the UK and across the globe. Centered around Cone’s groundbreaking book A Black Theology of Liberation, this seminar will include plenary conversations, discussion groups, and lectures on how his work has been studied, celebrated, and challenged in various contexts and cultures.
Learn more and register here.

EDS News

EDS at the Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage

On Saturday, August 12, EDS’ Director of Programming and Operations the Rev. Emilee Walker-Cornetta traveled with the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gust Coast for the Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage to commemorate the legacy of seminarian, civil rights activist and ETS/EDS alum Jonathan Daniels. Daniels was shot and killed in 1965 in Haynesville Alabama protecting 16 year old Ruby Sales, who would go on to study at EDS.

“It was an honor to join pilgrims from across the church in remembrance of Jonathan Daniels and the Alabama martyrs of the Civil Rights movement,” she shared. “Together, we bore witness to the evil that killed them and to the love that rose up—and rises still—in resistance to all forms of racist violence. As we walked, kneeled, and sang, I felt God calling us to prayfully continue the courageous legacy of Jonathan Daniels by dismantling the sinful realities of white supremacy.”

EDS at Katie Cannon Memorial Days

On Monday, August 7, EDS Interim President the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas participated in a Womanist gathering in North Carolina to remember and honor the Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon on the fifth anniversary of her passing. The Rev. Dr. Cannon is a founding pioneer in Womanist theology with her groundbreaking work as a Christian ethicist and liberation theologian. She was a beloved member of the EDS faculty at Cambridge.

“In the spirit of Dr. Canon we gathered for a ritual at her gravesite telling stories and sharing memories that made us at once laugh and cry,” shared President Douglas. “Katie was a dear sister-friend whose wisdom I often sought. Her words, ‘Do the work you soul must have,’ continue to guide me.”

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas featured in The AFRO

EDS Interim President the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas' op-ed 'The Urgency of Now,' written in response sixtieth anniversary of the March on Washington and the sixty-eighth anniversary of the lynching of Emmet Till, was recently featured in The AFRO. Read the full commentary here.

"It is untenable to simply remember what happened sixty years ago at the Lincoln Memorial and then stand quietly on the sidelines while a movement to ban books and to purge school curriculums of the harsh realities of anti-Black racism proliferates across the country. There is an urgency to act. There is an urgency to show up. There is an urgency to resist. There is an “urgency of now” to tell the truth about this nation’s history."

Strategic Planning Update

In this first phase of the Board's visioning for the future of EDS, our Consultant, Katie Glover, has been having conversations with a variety of stakeholders across the Episcopal Church and beyond. The conversations have centered around three questions:

  • The current and potential future landscape of theological education--seminaries, diocesan, and local schools
  • The current and potential future landscape of the Episcopal church
  • The opportunities and unique possibilities for EDS to enhance theological education and formation for clergy and lay people and to strengthen the Episcopal church

This initial phase will continue through late September when the Board Strategic Planning Group, co-lead by Bonnie Anderson and Bishop Matt Heyd, will receive and review the data.

Listening Session Sign Up

As part of our year-long strategic planning process, the Rev. Canon Lydia Bucklin ‘15 is coordinating a series of Zoom listening sessions for alums and faculty of EDS. To learn more and sign up for these listening sessions, click here.

EDS August 2023 Updates

  • New Website: EDS’ new website is live! Visit for transition news, upcoming events, and more.
  • Alum Resources: Resources for EDS alums, including transcripts, can be found here.
  • Alum Facebook Page: EDS has launched a new alum Facebook page! Click here to join.
  • New Address: EDS has relocated its office to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Our new address is Episcopal Divinity School, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025. Click here to read the press release.
  • New Phone: EDS’ new general phone number is (646) 713-0845. This line will direct you to extension numbers for staff.
  • Social media: EDS can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to follow if you aren’t already!

As EDS enters this transformative strategic planning process and invites the insights of our alums through the upcoming Listening Sessions, we are confident that together we will shape a future that honors our rich heritage while embracing the ever-evolving needs of theological education. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting developments ahead!

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